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Thread: Black Bear custom Tune
03-17-2009, 06:21 AM #1
Black Bear custom Tune
Does anyone recommend doing this? Has anyone done this?
I've heard amazing things about the company Black Bear Performance. I believe the owner/tuners name Justin and i have heard NOTHING but good things said about him and his tune jobs.
i guess there is basically three options: mail in PCM- give them a list of things you wish you change about your truck i.e. tire size, driving style, speed limiter increase, towing, MPG, etc.; Data-Logging PCM Tuning- company loans you hardware and software for you to connect to your vehicle's computer and record sensor data while you drive then you must return that data through email, then they are able to analyze it and tune the PCM based around the trucks data; In-Person/Group Tuning- Tuner tavels to different locations and a group of people sign up to have him personally drive around with the owner of the vehicle while he downloads information during the drive. Then tunes according to the data.
What I want to know is this: should i do the data logging? or just the conventional mail in order?? either way i've heard that great things happen from both situation. BUT, it's a lot cheaper (i think 200 cheaper? not sure how the core charge works?) to do the traditional way. i would love to keep my stock PCM, just in case, and i think that adds on another 100 bucks and he supplies me with another PCM.
anyone do any of these options? how long did it take?
I don't want to go to any other tuner company either unless it's local, but i just haven't found any in my area.. i just LOVE everything i've read about Justin, the company's work. His wife is so helpful on a handful of forums, she provides detailed information about the service they provide for us GM lovers.
Last edited by ameerica; 03-17-2009 at 09:07 PM.
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03-17-2009, 07:30 AM #2
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
- Gloucester, MA
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Well I would be weary about sending my trucks brains through the mail. Just because of all the possible mishaps. Personally I would rather send my whole truck. But if he is reputable and has been trusted by people you know then I say give it a shot. You are bound to see an increase,will it be the best you can get? Only way to know is have it done somewhere else too. The down time for your truck seems to be extensive this way too. Does he provide a back up pcm for use while yours is being tuned? Just weigh out all your options before you jump into this. Just remember there is somebody always Better than the last. You just need to find the one you'll be happy with.
I have looked into a custom tune too. There is a engineer that I work with that does it for a very reputable shop in MA. He did a coworkers Silverado 2500 HD 6.0L, came out very nice. Not sure if I'm gonna use him or go with a programmer. It is a tough decision. I feel your pain.BRYAN
"IF YOU DON'T TREAT IT LIKE A TRUCK IT'S JUST A REALLY BIG CAR"
02' Avalanche 2500 Onyx Black
03-17-2009, 08:27 AM #3Some people call me the space cowboy ... some people don't.
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03-17-2009, 11:28 AM #4
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- East of Branson, Missouri
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03-17-2009, 12:44 PM #5
ok so we have heard a lil bit about black bear does anyone have anything to say about wait4meperformance. I am seriousley concidering them.
03-17-2009, 12:51 PM #6
ECU flashes were something that became popular for a while among the Evo group when the Evo first came out. The problems that I have with going this route are these: If you make any changes to your vehicle after the flash, ie intake, exhaust, cam, headers, etc., you have to get it re-flashed since the flash was tuned for what your truck was at that particular point. The mail in flashes are dangerous to say the least, you stand the chance of someone at FedEx or UPS running your ECU through the XRay machine, which isn't good for anything electronic (especially those that hold a memory of somesort), also the program that they put on your ECU isn't for your truck in specific since they aren't dealing with your truck, the best you can get is someone else's tune that has a truck somewhat similar to yours. It usually doesn't take into consideration your environment (altitude, humidity, local temperatures, etc.). All that being said, I found the best way to go for engine management is something that the driver can control at least the fuel and timing tables for (boost as well for forced induction motors). Even if the driver/owner doesn't know a thing about tuning, there are shops everywhere that can and will dyno tune (or road tune) your vehicle.
03-17-2009, 01:50 PM #7
Steve, hey-- thanks for the PM, but unfortunalty i cannot send PMs back yet because i have not commented on enough threads yet. :(
here is what i tried to write you.
"DANG! thank you for all your help, now that i see and understand what the User CP tab is it will make my life on this forum so much better! i'm so glad i finally joined a site like this, it is actually very exciting/helpful/fun! AND i was sooo surprised with how fast people responded to my thread. Thanks again for everything, and i will be coming back to you if i need help, do you work for the forum or help run it, or are you just good with this stuff?
03-17-2009, 01:57 PM #8
Justin offers LIFETIME tune adjustments, you just have to pay for shipping. They didn't seem pushy or rude at all. Maybe you just caught him on a bad day? but i've heard nothing bad about Black Bear anywhere online... pretty much every person that has done the mail order tune has loved it, especially compared to stock. I hope i don't end up getting screwed like you have... i would try emailing him and telling him the situation, and have him re-tune your PCM again.
you really noticed NO increase? did you aim towards HP, or MPG increase? if you got just a basic "lite" tune it shouldn't have messed with things like your idle and such... maybe there was just a problem with shipping, or the way he programmed it, or maybe your truck had issues that weren't apparent before the tune?
i'm not sure, but that sucks for you man... you did the mail in one right? did you get to keep your stock PCM? how long did it take for him to respond to your email/phone call? how long did it take to ship thee PCM?
thanks a lot man, and i would definatly get it re-tuned, who knows-- maybe the second time it will be amazing and run like it's supposed to.
03-17-2009, 02:09 PM #9
I don't think i'm weary about sending my PCM in due to shipping problems. Everyday people buy pcm's online, and Justin has shipped out plenty of them without any heard of problems. I wish i could find a local shop to tune my truck, i would totally go through them. i just don't know how to search and find shops in portland, or who could do something like this for me. maybe you or someone could help with that? i tried searching on google, but probably not hard enough.
I think he offers a replacement PCM while he is doing the tune. He is what i think happens when you do the mail in tune. You tell him what you want and all the specific things about your vehicle, he plugs it into his computer, BUYS another PCM for the vehicle, tunes it, ships it out. I think, hopefully, he charges a $100 core charge to keep the factory one, which i think is a great deal considering how spendy they are. and also it would be nice to have the factory one for backup and when you go to the dealer.
i've used a handheld programmer, it was a HyperTech. it worked for a few things, the Shift Firmness was pretty great, it just shifted into the gears a little harder and faster. and it allowed me to hold higher RPMs for a little longer instead of the tranny shifting down faster than it should. BUT i had to get my tranny rebuilt after only 80k miles. I do a lot of towing in the summer, and hadn't had the lift on my truck til AFTER the tranny was rebuilt. The transmission pro i used told me that the hypertech programmer isn't good for the tranny at all, it wears it out much faster.
also the program was nice because it allowed me to change my speed-o so it read the correct MPH with my 35" tires. The rev limiter was increase, my max speed was able to increase to 150+ i believe, and it read and cleared DTC trouble codes. also it "tunes" it for the grade of fuel i used...
Overall, i didn't notice anything besides the shift firmness after i used the programmer, and i tried many many different setups. There is a grip of other hand helds out there, i think a tune is the way to go though.
I WANT A LOCAL TUNER NOW!! haha. anyone want to help me find one?
03-17-2009, 02:13 PM #10
Honestly, look around at some of the import tuner shops. I know I know I know, but those guys are all about tuning OBD I and OBD II. A typical programmer isn't what I had in mind since I think most of those just give you your choice of different preset tunes. I personally want something that I can tweak and change the values of my fuel and timing trim by rpm x10. I know there are programs out there for it, I just haven't gotten to the point of needing it for my truck yet, so I'm not sure which are good.